New Year’s Disillusions: Things I Can Really Stick With

Rather than resolving to do things in 2024, this writer has a list of things not to do.
by Jenn Bianchi | illustration by Jillian Ohl

We all know the drill: “New Year, New Me.” Everyone has been guilty of promising themselves that this year will be different. We’ll work out, we’ll read nonfiction, we’ll finally take that pottery class.  

Not me, not this year. I’m 43 and tired of faking excitement for a new year full of undiscovered opportunities. Instead, I’ve decided to welcome the New Year by resolving not to do things, but to not do things. 

First and foremost, I’ll start by NOT supporting the arts. Especially local art. Specifically, my son’s band. He’s 12 years old and not that good. Yeah, I said it. His clarinet skills are lacking.

How am I expected to sit through another rendition of “When the Saints go Marching in” that sounds like wind passing through a garden hose? I’ll go to his shows, but only to save on future therapy bills. I just need to bring ear plugs because that kid blows. 

Secondly, I will NOT be celebrating spring this year. I am so tired of embracing warm weather as the pine pollen brigade rules over the Carolinas. Every year it seems to get worse, which leads me to believe the trees are against us.

No amount of eye drops or antihistamines match this blight on the sinuses. So this year, I’m bowing out. No throwing open the windows, no sunny lunches outside, no hikes to see the damn trees leaf out. If you need me, I’ll be in my fortress of aloe Kleenex.

Thirdly, I will NOT be participating in the downtown Sip n’ Stroll. I just don’t get it. Figuring that out is like trying to interpret the hieroglyphics of an ancient cocktail menu: I know there’s booze involved, but decoding the rules requires a Ph.D. in cryptology.

The map juts at odd angles — have I wandered off the grid? And good luck figuring out the bureaucracy of to-go cups and stickers, because every bar is just a little different. (That is, if they decide to participate at all.) And don’t even try to walk that cup across a gate when there’s a festival in town. It’s less of a Sip n’ Stroll and more of a Sip n’ Suck it Up, Buttercup. 

So here’s to welcoming the new year as the same old me — I can resolve to do that! 

This article originally appeared in the January, 2024 issue of WALTER magazine.